Raising the federal minimum wage to $12 per hour could reduce private sector employment by 1.8 million jobs over 10 years and cut economic output by $2 trillion, according to a new report released Tuesday by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).
“Both candidates for president have expressed support for raising the minimum wage, and it’s important for voters to understand the consequences,” said NFIB/CA State Executive Director Tom Scott. “Raising the minimum wage to $12, without any connection to the economy or business conditions, has the potential to devastate small businesses and wipe out nearly two million jobs.”
Scott pointed out that neither Donald Trump nor Secretary Clinton has been asked about raising the minimum wage in any of the presidential debates so far. The candidates will meet Wednesday night, Oct. 19, for their final nationally televised exchange before the election on Nov. 8.
“This is a very important issue that deserves more serious discussion from all candidates running for federal office this year,” Scott added. “It is also important to point out that this NFIB report assumes an increase in the federal minimum wage to $12 per hour phased in by 2019, and then increased every year thereafter based on inflation. However, California is already on track in statute to reach $12 per hour by 2019, and eventually $15 per hour by 2022. Therefore, here in California, the devastating economic impacts are not theoretical, but rather certain for our already struggling small businesses.”
Small businesses would be affected disproportionately. According to the NFIB research, 57 percent of the jobs that would disappear would come from small businesses.